"Although the NI and RoI market is currently quiet for us, we export to a host of European countries including England, France, the Netherlands, and further afield to the UAE where there is a huge demand for our theming specialism. We very much see ourselves as an international company - open to exporting anywhere and everywhere.
The company’s current activity spans high end joinery in the luxury hospitality and residential sector in London to creative fabrication for theme park attractions in Dubai where they have just opened an office following the award of five themed attractions at Motiongate, Dubai’s largest movie based theme park opening later this year.
I think the evolution of our business, the emphasis we put on quality and talent coupled with our attention to detail - both in our products and business decisions – helps to explain our export success. Our offering has continually developed to respond to gaps in the market; moving from painting and decorating in the 70s and 80s to specialist finishes in the 90s, to bespoke joinery and outfitting in the 00s. We saw a huge upturn in business from 2012 onwards and almost vertical growth last year as our theming division expanded.
One element of our business that attracts attention and contributes to our growing reputation is our ability to offer end to end service delivery. As well as creating the sets, props and special effects for attractions such as Hotel Transylvania; Ghostbusters; Zombieland; The Green Hornet and Underworld at Motiongate in Dubai, we manage the entire artistic process and commit to delivering projects on time and to budget.
The joiners who work at Deluxe are learning a new way of doing carpentry. Key to our success is our talented workforce, so we invest in factory and in-house training – equipping our team with the skills they need to be master carpenters. It’s a great environment to work in. When people think of fit-out or joinery, they typically envisage furniture design but in our workshops you come face to face with all manner of builds, from witches’ carts to gargoyles! By combining the latest in technological design and production, equipment with woodworking craftsmanship and artistic talent, we can create sets that make people feel as if they have been transported to a different world.
2016 got off to a phenomenal start for us, and we have plenty in store for the rest of the year and beyond with orders lined up for the next 2 – 3 years. We have one of the biggest supply packages for Dubai Parks and Resorts where we are working to bring to life the five Sony Pictures attractions. We are making great inroads into the luxury fit-out market in London working on private members hotels such as The Devonshire Club which is a growing trend in the London hospitality market.
Key to making sure exporting is the right – and a successful – option for your business is to avail of the great support networks available. If it wasn’t for the support of Invest NI, the Department of Trade and Industry and our bank First Trust Bank, we wouldn’t be where we are today. The Invest NI team in Dubai helped us team up with a local sponsor and have been a great support mechanism to help us navigate the local business industry in UAE.
Looking to Northern Ireland, I’m optimistic about our economic prospects as there is a sense of upturn both north and south of the border – despite the Brexit question. While daunting, exporting doesn’t have to be difficult. We haven’t encountered any logistical problems and just recently transferred 70 containers to our new office in Dubai with no issue.
As long as you are responding to a market demand and have something unique and original to offer, exporting is a rewarding endeavour. With a host of partners and organisations hoping to grow Northern Ireland’s export potential, getting the support and knowledge you need has never been easier."